Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Something New: Values

In the second installment of the Mount Sterling series, the titular college finds itself in need of a new president after the current one passed away unexpectedly.  The president, Dr. Overdorf, is bound and determined to take the once-Christian college and squelch the religious undertone in the name of tolerance. 

While this may be an overstated thing -- this usually happens over a large span of time, and it happened with my own university -- it's a problem that colleges are facing today.  Folks, even entire groups, are being silenced in favor of so-called inclusion and tolerance.  News flash, if you're excluding someone or trying to push them away, you're literally being the opposite of inclusive!

Anyway, Joanna and Alison, as well as a couple of new characters I'm introducing, find themselves at odds with the new president.  They're torn between keeping their heads down and their noses clean or standing up for the Constitutional rights of some groups on campus who are being forced out, including Joanna and Alison's own group and a student's Bible study. 

When is the right time to stand up and say, "I'm doing no harm and I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing," and when is the right time to compromise?  Especially in today's political and religious climate, I believe that this is a big problem that our young adults and youth are experiencing and need guidance on, which is why I'm writing it.  I think it's important to inspire folks to educate themselves on the topics they're passionate about, as well as learning to be courageous in today's climate of safe zones and folks getting fired for things they say on Twitter. 

I write editorials for my college's newspaper.  You can guess that I don't write about popular opinions, but I did have to learn when to keep my mouth shut and when to defend myself, especially when one article in particular blew up.  About the politics of a Disney movie, no less!  Choosing which comments to ignore (ones including threats of physical harm) and which to challenge (someone trying to get me in trouble, erroneously suggesting I--an English major--had plagiarized) was difficult.

 Joanna and Alison are going to face the same sort of problem, and -- you guessed it -- Joanna's a bit of a firecracker.  She's not much of one to stand down when she knows she's right. 

But will it cost her a job?  We'll also explore a lot of consequences, because even the right choices can have them. 


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